Spain is the latest country to accede to International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) treaty for safe and environmentally sound ship recycling – the Hong Kong Convention.
On 3 June, Víctor Jiménez Fernández, Transport Counselor and Alternate Permanent Representative of Spain to the International Maritime Organization, met with IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim to deposit the instrument of accession.
The country is the 17th to sign the convention, which covers the design, construction, operation and maintenance of ships, and preparation for ship recycling.
The convention is aimed at ensuring that ships, when being recycled after reaching the end of their operational lives, do not pose any unnecessary risk to human health and safety or to the environment.
Under the treaty, ships to be sent for recycling are required to carry an inventory of hazardous materials, specific to each ship.
Furthermore, ship recycling yards are required to provide a Ship Recycling Plan, specifying the manner in which each ship will be recycled, depending on its particulars and its inventory.
Sixteen countries that joined the treaty so far include Belgium, Congo, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Japan, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Serbia, and Turkey.
According to the IMO, the seventeen contracting states to the convention now represent approximately 29.77% of the gross tonnage of the world’s merchant marine.
The convention’s entry into force is expected 24 months after ratification by fifteen states, representing 40 percent of world merchant shipping by gross tonnage, combined maximum annual ship recycling volume not less than 3 percent of their combined tonnage.